First I would like to explain my absence from blogging for the past couple of weeks…..website trouble. I have changed hosts, and I hope all is well!
And now……on to the grammar!
My newest pet peeve is the incorrect use of the pronoun myself. I have been hearing it more and more–or perhaps I have just noticed it more and more. I hear it on the news, in conversation, on television–everywhere. I imagine that people use myself when they can’t figure out if the correct word is I or me. Myself also sounds more erudite, so perhaps that is why people tend to use it.
Myself (along with yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, and themselves) is called a reflexive or intensive pronoun. The other such pronouns don’t seem to cause trouble; it’s just myself.
Here is an example of myself used correctly as a reflexive pronoun: I wrote that proposal myself.
Here is an example of myself used correctly as an intensive pronoun: I myself wrote that proposal.
Here are some examples of myself used incorrectly:
He gave my friend and myself some new books.
My neighbors and myself are having a party next weekend.
Joe read the letter to my sister and myself.
Okay. Can you see a common thread here? When is it correct to use myself? Fortunately, this is an easy rule to remember. In the first correct example, myself bounces back (as in reflexive) to the I at the beginning of the sentence (which is the subject).
In the second correct example, the myself emphasizes (as in intensive) the I at the beginning of the sentence (which is the subject).
In the incorrect examples, the subjects of the sentences are he, my neighbors, and Joe, respectively.
You got it! You CANNOT correctly use myself in a sentence unless I is the subject!
By the way….it’s graduation time soon, and a grammar book makes a great gift to someone going on to junior high or high school, or college, or into the workplace! And perhaps even a great Mother’s Day gift?? If you would like to purchase either of my grammar books (or just take a peek inside on Amazon), they are available here:
and at most other online retailers. They can also be ordered from bookstores. For bulk orders, please contact me. And finally, if you like the book, or books, I would greatly appreciate a review on Amazon (or anywhere else!). Thank you!